Things I Observed and/or Learned During Holiday Travels
I’m back in L.A. after 9 days with family for Christmas. I fly every year during this time so I’m usually prepared for hassles due to delays and changed flights. I find the best way to combat the exhaustion and frustration is to look at everything from a humorous angle. Here are some random things I experienced/learned:
- A family Skyping via netbook while eating dinner at 2 a.m. at Denny’s, the only joint in town open all night. The computer was passed around so everyone can wave their food at the screen. The face on the screen kept insisting she couldn’t see clearly what everyone was eating so each person speared a huge chunk of steak/meat loaf/chicken on their fork and waved it around extravagantly for the Skypee to ooh and ahh over. I started mentally forming narration a la Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night when they provided commentary in a restaurant while observing other diners: “See my big piece of meat? You want some, don’t you? If I actually put it in my mouth, I bet it’d be delicious.”
- When I got into the rental car, the airbag indicator said: “Off.” When I returned to the rental agent and asked why, the agent said I didn’t weigh enough to trigger the airbag function. My response: “Well, since the car doesn’t recognize me being in it, can you just pretend I’m not really renting it?”
- If you see a small yappy dog or baby is being carried onto a plane, you can rest assured it’ll sit right behind you. But hey, that’s still better than someone with a bag o’ snakes.
- The $12 airport sandwich does not have gold nuggets in it and looks an awful lot like the sandwich I can make at home for 89 cents.
- Orlando, Florida is stinkin’ cold in December—32 degrees during the day! At night, I could’ve poured food coloring on my fingers and eaten them as popsicles.
- People who freak out and threaten the lives of gate agents when their flights are canceled do not get better service.
- Kindness always seems to arrive when you need it most. When my plane landed at LAX after I’d been on the road for 15 hours and looked as if I was a half-breath away from collapsing (found out later I was suffering from a viral throat infection exacerbated by cabin air), the man in the aisle seat stepped back, pulled my suitcase from the overhead bin, handed it to me and said, “You go first.” Among a mob of people fighting to get off the plane, this was no small act.
- Despite the hardship, I remain grateful for the fact I get to travel at all. Some people don’t get to be with their family for the holidays—e.g. the men and women in our armed forces—and/or never have the opportunity to explore the world. Focusing on the positive aspects of my life instead of its imperfections helps me get through obstacles big and small.
How were your holidays?
Once I’ve decompressed, I’ll post a review of Biutiful and notes from a lively Q&A session with star Javier Bardem. That man is one huge ball of charm in person! If I’m extra productive, I might also do a “best of” list but that requires re-examining all the pop culture I’ve watched/read/heard this past year and that’s a lot of stuff.
Happy New Year! Got resolutions?